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Arcanine (Analysis)

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Birkal, May 3, 2011.

  1. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
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    Credits go to Auraknight for already providing some framework for this analysis. While I will be relying upon his points and the suggestions given from many users in the topic, I won't be following his direct line of work.

    [QC 3/3]
    Iconic | Bloo | Delta 2777

    [GP 1/2]
    TelamonianAjax | jc104


    [​IMG]

    Arcanine

    [Overview]

    <p>While Arcanine, with its impressive base stats and workable movepool, played a significant role in last generation’s UU, fifth generation has given the original fire pup some unique tools to establish itself as a force in OU. With access to Flash Fire, Arcanine is effectively able to switch into many common threats and add authority to its mighty Fire-type STAB with both physical and special attacks. In sunlight, which plays an active role in the current metagame, Arcanine’s Fire-type attacks become absurdly powerful while its main source of recovery, Morning Sun, regains up to two-thirds of its maximum HP. Defensive tools like Intimidate and Will-O-Wisp help the dog’s middling base 80 defenses as well.</p>

    <p>Yet, Arcanine still faces some of the same issues that hindered its performance in the past. Stealth Rock and Spikes still hit hard any Arcanine hoping to switch in for an easy Flash Fire boost. Its movepool, although expanded with options such as Wild Charge and Close Combat, is still rather limited and predictable. Nevertheless, when played with some strategy and foresight, Arcanine is able to hit hard against prevalent Steel-type threats, while surviving hard-hitting blows with its own decent bulk.</p>


    [SET]
    name: Physical Attacker
    move 1: Flare Blitz
    move 2: Close Combat
    move 3: Wild Charge
    move 4: ExtremeSpeed / Crunch
    item: Life Orb / Choice Band
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe


    <p>This set takes full advantage of Arcanine's new tools in the fifth generation. Flare Blitz is its STAB move of choice, running off Arcanine's solid 110 Base Attack— only surpassed by Darmanitan in terms of common OU Fire-types. Under sunlight and with a Flash Fire boost, Flare Blitz transforms Arcanine into an offensive juggernaut who will not only dent foes that resist it, but also nullify all Fire-type threats trying to abuse the sunlight. Close Combat hits hard on both Blissey and Tyranitar while Wild Charge can catch Water-types, such as Jellicent and Tentacruel, off guard. The last moveslot can be filled with ExtremeSpeed if you lack a priority move elsewhere in your team. Crunch, on the other hand, increases Arcanine's chances of taking out threats that resist its STAB, namely Latios and Chandelure.</p>


    [Additional Comments]

    <p>While Fire Blast could be considered if Arcanine is having issues with physical walls, Flare Blitz is generally the optimal choice for a Fire-type move. It makes use of Arcanine's better Attack stat while hitting more consistently than Fire Blast and its lackluster accuracy. Morning Sun is also an option, helping Arcanine to recover from residual damage; refrain from using Morning Sun along with Choice Band, however. At base 95 Speed, Arcanine doesn't face much competition with Pokemon with lower base speed, so Adamant is preferred to provide more offensive presence. In terms of abilities, Intimidate is superior, as it helps Arcanine survive longer against physical threats. Flash Fire is worth considering if your team suffers from a Fire-type weakness, as the boost helps Arcanine hit even harder. The given EVs maximize Arcanine's offensive force by allowing it to hit as quickly and powerfully as possible. This set succumbs to damage quickly, so Wish-passers and Rapid Spin users make for solid teammates to increase Arcanine's lifespan.</p>


    [Other Options]

    <p>Arcanine has the potential to run a Special Attacker set, with its useable base 100 Special Attack stat. Options include Fire Blast, Hidden Power Grass or Electric, and Dragon Pulse. However, there are many other Fire-types who fulfill this role better, including Infernape and Victini. Toxic is possible if you're looking for team support, although Arcanine normally likes to hit hard with its wide attacking movepool. Solarbeam is a good way to attack Gastrodon and Quagsire, but its dependence on the weather makes it subpar. Besides, Grass-types will be able to take on bulky Water-type threats a lot better under sunlight.</p>

    <p>Morning Sun is a great option for taking care of residual damage, but its usefulness depends significantly on the weather. Flame Charge, Agility, and Howl all go towards boosting Arcanine's stats, but don't do it many favors; its time is better spent attacking opponents with its vast movepool.</p>


    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Thanks to new moves, such as Wild Charge and Close Combat, Arcanine can take on bulky Water-types and Rock-types, respectively. However, the flame dog faces many challenges that will hinder its longevity. Entry hazards and sandstorm hinder Arcanine by adding on even more residual damage. Speaking of extra damage, the recoil from Flare Blitz and Wild Charge certainly won't do any favors, particularly with Life Orb. Once Arcanine has dealt out a few hits and sustained some recoil, it can easily be taken out by quicker threats such as Gengar and Latios. In the same vein, almost anything that outspeeds Arcanine will likely kill it. Mach Punch Conkeldurr and Fake Out / U-Turn Meinshao have the power to bring its HP down quickly.</p>

    <p>Furthermore, Arcanine faces issues with being walled. Bulky waters, such as Jellicent and Tentacruel, are difficult to 2HKO, even with Stealth Rock support. Especially troublesome are Water/Ground types, who resist Fire-type attacks while laughing at Wild Charge. Without Stealth Rock support, Arcanine will fail to OHKO Physically Defensive Skarmory, even with a combination of Life Orb and STAB Flare Blitz.</p>

    <p>To alleviate some of these issues, certain teammates can be utilized. Defensively speaking, Bronzong and Rotom-W make excellent partners as they are immune to Ground-type attacks and resist another of the types to which Arcanine is weak. In return, Arcanine covers their Fire- and Grass-type weaknesses respectively. Ferrothorn makes for a great defensive comrade with its ability to combat rain-based teams, while Flash Fire Arcanine especially appreciates the Fire-type attacks aimed at it. Offensively, Arcanine works well with Grass-types to combat bulky waters. Rain also hurts Arcanine's chances to OHKO with Flare Blitz, so Ninetales and Sunny Day users can alleviate stress.</p>


    [Dream World]

    <p>Arcanine receives the ability Justified through the Dream World. While it allows for some interesting switch-ins to Dark-type moves, it is simply too gimmicky to be used consistently. Its other two abilities are far superior in assisting Arcanine's rise to power.</p>
  2. GtM

    GtM

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    Advice: Skeleton the analysis before you write it up, summarise each section in bullet points. It saves time and makes sure that you don't waste time writing sets that are rejected.
  3. Benlisted

    Benlisted

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    Hey, not sure if you know but there's a previous version of this which was locked for inactivity, and was almost through QC (have a read). It could potentially save you an awful lot of work if you incorporate stuff from it (here) so see what you think.

    The two sets in the OP are pretty good, and the one Bloo recommends definitely should be in there too. The only adjustment I'd recommend is Crunch slashed with Wild Bolt in CB set (or at least mentioned) as particularly on a Sun team you can scare TTar or Tran out with the threat of CC and then OHKO the gengar etc you see on their team with Crunch as it comes in.
  4. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
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    I just put up two abbreviated sets and a quick Dream World section. While the Choice Band set is nearly identical to the one posted by Auraknight, it is one of Arcanine's most viable sets and should be focused on.

    In addition, I firmly believe that Arcanine holds a reliable spot in many Sun-based teams. While adding another Fire-type to the team might seem disadvantageous, it plays a special niche in the team which can blockade opposing Fire-types wanting to abuse the sunlight. A lot of that set is up in the air and subject to lots of change. Regardless, I believe that Arcanine's role in sunlight should be discussed.

    I'll be adding on more sets in the future, including one for Life Orb. If you have any other recommendations for sets, please let them be heard! I will look over them earnestly.

    Great advice! I will make all of my sets in the following manner until they are approved by the general population.

    Fantastic tip, thank you very much! As I mentioned in the original post, there is a lot of work that has already gone on for Arcanine that I will certainly rely upon. I will make sure to read through the topic for extra thoughts and points of view.
  5. Diana

    Diana This isn't even my final form
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    I'd think a Flame Charge set would work, I've seen a few work pretty nicely. Something like Flame Charge/Flare Blitz/Close Combat/Wild Charge?
  6. prem

    prem failed abortion
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    solarbeam should not be used on the sun abuser set. i know its nice to have a 120 base power grass move to use, but there are too many other weather abusers that could just change into arcanine and ruin the move.

    also, is there really anything notable he outruns with jolly over adamant? most base 90s run adamant and the only common base 95 is darmatian, who you could just hit with espeed or take the flare blitz with flash fire and hit back harder...
  7. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
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    I s'pose that there are many weather abusers that could potentially ruin the entire move, but bulky waters really put a damper on Arcanine's parade. Are you absolutely sure it has no place in the set? Threats like Swampert, Gastrodon, and Quagsire wouldn't stand much of a chance against Solarbeam with Arcanine's 100 Special Attack. And furthermore, what would you recommend to replace it?

    ...That is an excellent point. I'll remove it from the set entirely.

    However, if a Choice Scarf Set was to be considered, would Jolly play into that equation? Is Scarfed Arcanine even worth bothering with? Under sun, I find it plausible that there'd be plenty of STAB power to work with to make it viable.
  8. prem

    prem failed abortion
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  9. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
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    All of your suggestions are making lots of sense. Perhaps I'll include Solarbeam into the additional comments, like you recommended, as an option if Bulky Waters are becoming too much of a hassle. I am seeing lots of similarities between my Sun Abuser set and the Life Orb (Physical) set. I will work towards combining those two in some sort of fashion. I'll leave them up for now in case others have additional comments for their effectiveness.

    While I have a podium to speak upon, I'd like to make clear that while Auraknight's original article was QC'd 3/3, the metagame was different back then. Both Blaziken and Drizzle + Swift Swim were unbanned at the time. That's why I believe we need to update a lot of the laid groundwork. Sun teams are much more abundant, and Arcanine can perform some sweeping abilities with Flame Charge without fear of being outclassed by Blaziken.
  10. jiggz16

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    Toxic might be a good mention with team preview if you see the aforementioned Quagsire, Swampert, or Gastrodon, who will more than likely be the first switch-in to Arcanine. Relatedly, would a specially defensive set like the one in the 4th gen analysis be too weak? 90/80/80 defenses aren't terrible and with Intimidate and sun support Arcanine could be a decent pivot that could still pick off some weaker stuff with the priority boost to ExtremeSpeed. Also, its fire typing makes it immune to the burn from Scald, which it can take from stuff like an uninvested Jellicent pretty easily with max damage coming in at around 20%
  11. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
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    Toxic certainly has some potential; I can put it in the Additional Comments, unless it somehow winds up playing a crucial role to a particular set.

    In regards to a specially defensive Arcanine, it was discussed in the past analysis and met with poor reviews, many of which I would tend to agree with. While Arcanine looks tempting with Intimidate, Will-O-Wisp, Toxic, and Morning Sun, it doesn't hold up against many threats like Reuniculus and Rotom-W. In my opinion, this Pokemon is best left to utilizing its offensive power rather than its so-so defenses and poor defensive typing.

    If it's further debated and numerous positives come out of the results, I'd consider adding such a set. But for the time being, its defensive capabilities seem limited.
  12. Benlisted

    Benlisted

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    From what I can tell the Sun abuse and LO physical sets are almost identical, with the only special move being overlapped with by the mixed set somewhat. Imo I'd merge the two under the name Physical attacker, add in notes to the effect that it performs excellently in Sun and can run Flash Fire etc to support it, and possibly keep the alternate EV spread for if you want to run Fire Blast in other options for the set. Finally, I really think that one of his key assets is that Extremespeed, which is very useful to revenge weakened threats like Latios, Thundurus, etc. Wild Charge only hits 1/3 harder than CC when SE, making it imo not worth it given that a few waters are water/ground and the main thing it hits will be Gyarados, who is generally relatively easy to deal with, so I'd put Extremespeed / Wild Charge in that slot.

    On the mixed set, as it presently is I'd rename it Flame Charge, but I'd recommend altering it to have Flame Charge in other options and being more like Auraknight's one with 4 atks, as Flame Charge sweeping is difficult to pull off even with something with as good bulk and resists as Heatran (with a balloon no less).

    On CB I strongly recommend Crunch at the very least as an option, since many Sun teams have huge issues being walled by Chandelure, and to an extent Gengar too, making it great utility for removing them as they come into a predicted CC. Intimidate should pretty much always be the standard option, reducing something's atk has a huge amount of team utility as well as giving Arc far easier switch-ins. Flash Fire is ofc a great option if you need or would like something to take Fire hits for free, but simply not the same utility as Intimidate.
  13. jiggz16

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    Yeah, I kinda figured specially defensive wouldn't be too hot but with the banning of Swift Swim + Drizzle I thought it would be at the least worth bringing up again, even if it does turn out to not be included in the analysis.
  14. Birkal

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    I added in all of Benlisted's comments! I thought many of them were completely right and more slashes needed to be added with Arcanine's increased movepool. Furthermore, I'm open for discussion of a defensive set if it was sorely wanted. I just feel that threats like Rotom-W and Thundurus will prevent it from doing any good in such a role.

    I've put this up to be QC'd. I feel that the three sets we've developed are Arcanine's best shots at being a plausible threat in OU. I am fully aware that I will be needing to write up my bullet points into additional paragraphs. I simply feel that there's enough variety with Arcanine that would make writing up indepth analysis impractical at the moment.
  15. Benlisted

    Benlisted

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    Yeah, a defensively focused set doesn't tend to work out too well in OU imo. He's essentially outclassed by Heatran and his myriad of resistances in that role unfortunately, since the sheer power of things in OU makes it hard for him to wall stuff.
  16. Bloo

    Bloo
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    PK Gaming and I talked this over and decided on the following:

    Seeing as the CB and Physical Attack sets are virtually identical, I'd like to see them merged. There's no point in writing two separate analyses for sets that are practically the same. Something like this should suffice:

    Physical Attacker (open)

    [SET]
    name: Physical Attacker
    move 1: Flare Blitz
    move 2: ExtremeSpeed
    move 3: Close Combat
    move 4: Wild Charge / Morning Sun
    item: Choice Band / Life Orb
    ability: Intimidate / Flash Fire
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    Here's what I changed:

    1. Nitpick: the "S" in ExtremeSpeed should be capitalized.
    2. The name is now renamed "Physical Attacker." That's probably the most appropriate name with CB and LO being merged and whatnot.
    3. Crunch isn't a slash anymore. It's useful for Chandelure, yes, but Chandelure isn't common enough for Crunch to have a slash IMO. Mention Crunch in Additional Comments.
    4. Morning Sun is now slashed next to Wild Charge (note: Morning Sun should never be used with CB; it is to be used with LO).
    PK Gaming will be covering the Flame Charge set. Make these changes and I'll approve this!

    This is a non sequitur / doesn't make any sense. What are you trying to say?
  17. PK Gaming

    PK Gaming Pursuing My True Self
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    Yeah i'm afraid i'm going to have to reject the Flame Charge. For starters, its inferior to an agility set (less speed, so you can't outspeed chlorophyll users) and it should be relegated to OO. Arcanine is better off launching its powerful moves instead of boosting its speed. Arcanine will rarely be sweeping with Agility, its just a waste of time.

    ?
    You state Arcanine is easily walled, but it then go on to state that he possesses a strong STAB move that lets it easily OHKO Ferrothorn. That sentence doesn't make much sense. In fact, Arcanine's boon in OU is his massive power & coverage move making him difficult to wall. Also, Arcanine can easily 2HKO Skarmory and Metagross, as well as 2HKOing Jellicent and Tentacruel. You might want to change that! Once you do all of that, you can consider this approved.
  18. Birkal

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    Merged the two sets and many of their bullet points. I took into account your point on using Morning Sun with only Life Orb. As much as I wish Crunch was slashed, I see your point; Arcanine won't be facing too many Chandelure. And if it is, it should be able to switch out to a teammate who can handle it much better. Also, I don't understand why Serebii would spell ExtremeSpeed incorrectly. Hrmph. Bulbapedia and other Smogon articles agree with you. So I've made the necessary changes.

    Fair enough! I added Flame Charge, Agility, and Howl in an extra paragraph in OO.


    I am so sorry to both you and Bloo for posting what is probably one of the most confusing sentences in the history of Smogon. I honestly have no idea what I was thinking. I've amended the sentence to fit the context of the paragraph. I'll add Ferrothorn as one of the specific Pokemon that Arcanine excels at taking out.
  19. Iconic

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    My only suggestion would be to list Life Orb before Choice Band because Arcanine has amazing coverage, and so being stuck on one move kinda sucks. Morning Sun should be slashed with ExtremeSpeed instead of Wild Bolt because Wild Bolt is what really separates Arcanine from other Fire-types.

    Also you need a mention of Ninetales as a partner at least somewhere.

    QC Approved 1/3
  20. Bloo

    Bloo
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    I posted before this, but I'm fine with Iconic's changes as well.

    QC APPROVED (2/3)
  21. Delta 2777

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    QC Approved (3/3)
  22. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
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    I have added both of your suggestions. I personally run with Life Orb Arcanine and find it preferable as well. I also agree that Wild Bolt is more versatile than both ExtremeSpeed and Morning Sun, so I'm fine with giving it its own moveslot.

    Thanks for the speedy approvals! I'll get to completing the write up shortly.
  23. bugmaniacbob

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    I know you said that this was ready for GP checks, but I think that you may want to put slightly more into the additional comments vis-a-vis teammates in particular. One sentence with the vague "Wish supporters and Rapid spinners" doesn't really help anybody. At the very least, you could give examples of some notable Rapid Spinners or Wish supporters - Starmie and Vaporeon spring to mind, particularly as both will occasionally be bothered by Ferrothorn, depending on the set they are running. Also nice would be things that can take on and defeat Arcanine's counters or those that have notable defensive synergy, or some offensive options that can take advantage of the disappearance of Ferrothorn and other bulky Grass-types or the weakening of Arcanine's conventional counters by repeated attacks.

    After you've addressed these, I'll GP check this.
  24. Aleva

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    I'm surprised that Latias isn't mentioned as a counter; it resists all of Arcanine's common attacks except Extremespeed and can then set up Calm Mind.
  25. Progeusz

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    Flare Blitz in Sun deals 203-239 HP and Extremespeed deals 121-143 (Life Orb) - Latias has 301 or 364 HP.
    Only Latias with 252 HP EVs can survive this combination, however it becomes impossible when there is Stealth Rock on the field. No counter at all.


    Oh, hi everybody!

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